Tempers were heated and many questions were asked during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Christian County Board as County payroll system issues continue to be a problem. The board was presented with their 2016 audit review, with an item of concern coming from an IRS penalty for failed tax deposits, and where the money came from to pay that penalty.
Fiance Committee Chair Becky Edwards presented the issues with the audit to the board, sharing how a failure to make a proper federal tax deposit resulted in a fee of nearly $13,000.
County Clerk Laurie Mense, who’s office is responsible for the failed deposits, informed the board how issues with the new payroll system the county converted to early last year was the reason behind the missed deposits.
The penalty was ultimately paid using an account known as an “agency account” or an “in/out account”, which takes money from employee deductions. Several members of the board had questions about a lack of transparency of the entire process, as well as using the agency account to pay the fees. Mense informed the board that the previous county board had in fact discussed the issues with the payments, and said she wasn’t trying to hide anything.
The money that had been taken out of the agency account to pay the penalty has to be replenished. To do so, the County Clerk’s Office makes a claim with the county board to replenish those expenses. A move which as of the Finance Committee Meeting, had not yet been done. Mense said she had not yet been made aware of the need to file a claim, however had one ready to be voted on.
A motion to table the vote on the claim ultimately failed, with a motion to pay the claim made by the County Clerk’s office narrowly passing by a 9-7 vote. The next meeting of the Christian County Board will take place on April 18th.